The girls of Clannad: Tomoyo (top-left), Kotom...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m starting to enjoy Clannad a bit more, but I’m still not sure what all the fuss is about. I’m starting to see why it is such a divisive series though.

The Story

Episodes 10 – 18 cover two more story arcs, and part of a third. The Kotomi Ichinose arc is one that could have been extremely effective, but an overdone element of the finale dented the impact.

The Kyou arc persuading the nascent Choir Club to share an advisor with the equally nascent Drama Club is interesting more for what it reveals about Tomoya’s empty life than as a story about Kyou.

Ditto for the rehabilitation of Tomoyo [1] so that she can become Student Council president. It is an interesting piece of backstory [2], but Tomoyo’s improbably varied athletic prowess strains belief.

The running gag with Fuko reappearing and “helping” is somewhat amusing but slightly overdone.

The Weaknesses of Clannad

The harem anime elements of Clannad are overdone. The most recent episodes with Tomoyo, Kyou, and Ryou have made that obvious. This is clearly going to be a First Girl Wins series, and by this point even Tomoya is reluctantly admitting this, so the scenes with the other girls just feel painfully pointless.

In terms of Nagisa, Yingchen of Veganime [3] made this interesting comment on my First Thoughts post:

For me, Clannad tried took the moe card too far. I felt like they were trying to make Nagisa completely dependent on Tomoya, unable to function without him. Her attractiveness is literally her vulnerability.

There’s some truth to that, and I can easily see why it would make many people bounce off Clannad, and bounce hard.

Then again…

The reason that this hasn’t bounced me off Clannad is that I’m beginning to believe that the same is true of Tomoya.

That Tomoya is badly broken in ways that haven’t fully emerged yet, and that it is because of the damage that he is drawn to Nagisa in the hope that they can heal each other.

The 2nd Interim Verdict.

So far Clannad is holding my interest, whether it will be strong enough to carry me through to ordering the apparently superior After Story remains to be seen.

I am increasingly fond of the opening song though, so here it is again.

[1] Yes, there is a female character whose given name is one character removed from the male lead’s name. That’s not a recipe for confusion at all. Honest.

[2] There’s enough sympathy in the backstory to make me wonder why Tomoyo didn’t use at least her goal in the campaign to become Student Council President.

[3] Are you reading Veganime? If not you should be.

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